Vincent gave me a strap to do heartrate last summer when I was training for Leadville. I was super surprised how low my heartrate was at altitude. I think my max heart rate during Leadville was in the mid 160’s, which is pretty low for me historically.
But historically, I haven’t looked at my heart rate for a couple decades, so it is all new data. Back when Polar first came out with heart rate monitors, I could see a max of over 190 on a bicycle every once in awhile and much higher if I was running or skiing.
My opinion is that your heart rate is higher the more muscle you are using. Like I said above, I rarely saw a heart rate of over 190 riding a bike, but I did a 10K and from 15 minute to 30 my heart rate was over 195 the whole time and I didn’t feel that stressed.
Anyway, back to present. I’ve been wearing my strap for the past couple weeks pretty consistently and am so surprised how low it is most of the time just riding along. Granted, I’ve not really been riding that hard, mainly because I have this lung thing going on and it hurts when I breath deeply or rapidly.
But it is still low. Last weekend I was doing a long-ish ride with some guys from Lawrence and going up a small hill into Lawrence, my heart rate was in the 140’s and a friend from Lawrence heart rate was 180. That is pretty extreme.
I let Bill use an extra strap, as I have a new Wahoo strap, and wanted to see if it read the same as a Garmin. Riding to Lawrence a couple days ago, Bill’s heart rate was consistently 20-30 beats higher.
I know each individual’s heart rate is personal and it isn’t really right to compare, but I’m comparing mine to my own.
And here’s the weird thing. Even though it seems like my high numbers are low, my low numbers are stupid low. Like when I’m sitting in the driveway before a ride, my pulse is sometimes in the 30’s. Never higher than the 40’s. And it drops into double digits when I’m coasting down a hill during a ride, which seems like 20 beats low.
So my high seems 20 beats lower, but my low is 20 beats lower. So that is the question. I sort of understand max heart rates decreasing with age, but it seems I still have the same range during exertion, it is just 20 beats lower at the top and the bottom. I did go hard last month on the trainer and got my high up to 180, which was a relief. Maybe when I’m racing the next couple weeks, and am doing some max efforts, I’ll have more data to go on.
Anyone out there with any ideas?